Advice Blog 10/7/2008

Question from a Mom

 I am a mother of a 4-month-old baby.  I have been pumping for my baby since birth. I am worried because I have not started my menstrual cycle, yet. I know that breastfeeding can temporarily stop menstruation.  But does pumping offer the same benefits? I asked my doctor and pediatrician and neither were sure. It seems that there is little information about breast pumping.  Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

Answer To New Mom,

As long as you are producing basically the same quantity of milk through pumping that you would for breastfeeding, you get the same benefits. Your body can not tell the difference between breastfeeding and pumping. Any time you add any supplemental foods or formula, you can expect a change in hormones and perhaps lower milk supply too.  Many mothers have had the benefit of no menstruation for 6 months to a year.
 BUT, you cannot depend on this for absolute birth control. While breastfeeding or pumping, many mothers have been surprised with a pregnancy without prior menstruation. There are many hormones at play in your body for a long time following birth. It only takes one hormone to get out of balance for the whole system to change. Please take precautions until you are ready for another pregnancy.

Momma Toni

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